Expert Perspectives

Stay informed by our faculty and fellows regarding recent insights, commentary, and opinions on middle market business challenges, growth factors, and opportunities.

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  • Annual Reviews: Why You Should Separate Performance and Pay

    Both middle market managers and their employees dislike annual reviews. Managers, already overburdened by the year's end, must prepare reports and sit down with each of their team members to evaluate performance and salary issues. Employees, on the other hand, are anxious about their bonuses and are only listening for how their performance ratings impact their income. Could anything be more uncomfortable and a waste of time on both sides?

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  • How to be a Middle Market David

    Not too long ago, a Middle Market company with a great product had a tough time competing against the retail market’s biggest players. Not anymore. The social media revolution means that retail is anyone’s game, and if you’re not already taking advantage of that new opportunity, you should be. Mr. Erik Rosenstrauch, President and CEO of FUEL Partnerships, a retail marketing firm and a ROI Strategic Alliance Partner, explains how to do so.

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  • How to Handle E-Waste and Old Electronic Equipment

    Sustainability can provide great benefits to a middle market business, including cost reduction and customer and employee loyalty. But claiming sustainable practices is difficult if you don't effectively handle e-waste. Whether it's outmoded computers, broken fax machines, CRT monitors, exhausted rechargeable batteries or obsolete networking equipment or smartphones, a lot of electronic waste is poorly handled.

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  • Lawsuits and the Need for Good Internal Communication

    Being in business means occasionally facing lawsuits. When a customer sues your middle market company over a faulty product or a supplier takes you to court in a contract dispute, there's a clear risk to both your financial bottom line and your reputation. But lawsuits bring other sorts of risk to areas such as employee retention and recruiting efforts. Of course you will have a strategy, led by your legal advisers, to collect all data relevant to the particular litigation. You'll also likely interview all employees involved in the case. But this is just the beginning.

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  • Find the Office Setup That's Right for Your Company

    The basics of business success include keeping customers happy, finding a strong market niche, operating efficiently, recruiting and retaining a smart workforce, pushing innovation and building strong business alliances. But what about designing a comfortable office? Yes, your office setup, although seemingly not fundamental, greatly affects how well your company operates. Design matters — and not just in branding, products and marketing, but in where you work.

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  • The Sales Process: Just One Part of Client-Centered Coordination

    The sales process is an integral part of a company's success. However, consumers are increasingly demanding a fully integrated customer experience. If you're not providing an effective, seamless journey from closing to delivery to after-sales service, your clients will likely switch to competitors. Your internal structures are irrelevant to customers; they expect you to unfailingly meet and exceed their expectations. This requires close internal coordination among your company's departments.

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  • Crisis Management: What to Do When You Get Hacked

    Crisis management, or how you handle corporate communications in the face of disaster, is a well-known set of practices. You bank on being transparent, getting out ahead of the story and taking care of the situation as best as possible. It's about doing whatever it takes to avoid reputation damage. Cyberattacks are increasingly becoming one of the many potential crises organizations can face. If your company is targeted by hackers, there are several key steps you should take to minimize the impact. However, you should also establish a proactive defense before something happens.

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  • Hiring for Both Company Culture and Diversity

    Company culture can become a challenge for the growing middle market business. As things get bigger, with more people, locations, products or services, customers and business partners, it's possible to dilute the culture responsible for that initial success. To help maintain the right atmosphere, companies have put an increasing emphasis on cultural fit in the hiring process.

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  • Glassdoor Reviews: When and How to Respond

    Glassdoor reviews can damage your middle market company's retention and recruiting efforts. We live in an age of social media where sharing and transparency are paramount values. Like it or not, your employees will be going online and writing reviews about the good, the bad and the ugly of working for your firm.

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  • Recruitment Outside the United States: 7 Essential Considerations

    Recruitment is tough, especially when you can't find the person to fit your precise needs. Imagine you've scoured your area — and then other areas across the country — for talent to fill a specialized engineer position at your middle market company, but you've come up empty-handed. Now what? You can expand your recruitment reach to overseas job markets. While finding, interviewing and hiring a qualified foreign employee might not be easy, it could be your only remaining option. How, then, should you go about it? Here are seven important considerations:

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  • Leading From the Future

    Management and leadership are future-oriented activities. To be strategic implies having a long time horizon, and engaging with current activities and choices from that broader perspective. To think about (and from) the future is an essential act of management. And yet, this deceptively simple act can be approached through four different mindsets.   Read More >

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